Before planning a wedding, I thought wedding planning was going to be super aesthetic and fun. I imagined I'd curl up with tea in my “This is my wedding planning mug”, write in my adorable wedding planning notebook and have perfectly manicured hands with a sparkly engagement ring.
Instead, I was drinking two buck chuck wine out of any clean glass available, rocking chipped nail polish, and switching between writing in Google Docs and an Orlando Bloom notebook I'd had since middle school. But even though the wedding planning process wasn't always aesthetic, my partner and I found ways to keep it fun and prevent our brains from melting!
Here are 5 smart ways to stay organized while planning your wedding:
Orlando Bloom notebook not required.
1. Pick a “wedding planning” date (creating a meta wedding timeline to talk about your wedding timeline!)
My partner and I chose Wednesday nights to be “Wedding Planning Wednesday” which is when we'd talk about all things wedding related. If you've ever worked in the corporate world, it's a lot like having those weekly standing meetings where you can share updates and next steps.
This helped condense our wedding-related conversations so that A) Wedding talk didn't take over our daily lives and B) It was easier to share and process wedding information we had gathered during the week. To make it extra fun for ourselves, we always made sure to have our favorite drinks and snacks on hand! Have you ever tried to draft a wedding guest list after a few drinks?
2. Find an organizational system that works for you
I'm right-brain dominant, so navigating tools like Excel spreadsheets overwhelm me! But luckily there are left brained besties who've created pre-made excel wedding spreadsheets like these wedding planning spreadsheets and they are a GODSEND. These babies are helpful for keeping track of your guest list, setting a wedding budget, creating a wedding timeline, and other important details. Plus they come with a wedding checklist to help keep you on track. Many Offbeat Wed readers have expressed how much they love the Offbeat Wed Wedding Planning Spreadsheets and checklist because they're neurodivergent-friendly, inclusive (no gender-normative language here!), and specifically designed for folks planning a nontraditional wedding.
You'll also want to keep all your wedding stuff in one place, whether that's a binder or a folder on your desktop. For us, it was that Orlando Bloom notebook and folder set I mentioned earlier. Orlando lovingly held all of our wedding paperwork like receipts and contracts.
Whether you choose goofy stationery or a honkin' three-ring binder, having a designated “place” for your wedding stuff is an easy way to keep your brain from melting while planning a wedding.
3. Create a wedding email
Keep your regular email and your wedding-related emails separate. This makes it easier when you have to pull up a vendor email for reference, plus it just keeps your inbox tidy. I used my wedding email to get Michael's coupons for our DIY wedding. Oh, and if you're planning a nontraditional wedding, we know a spiffy newsletter that's as helpful as it is entertaining. You can subscribe here!
4. Don't be afraid to delegate!
You know how when you first get engaged there are loved ones who say “If you need any help, don't hesitate to ask me?” TAKE THEM UP ON THAT OFFER! If there's something you reeeeaaally don't want to do, then don't be afraid to delegate! Maybe a task you're overwhelmed by might be in someone else's wheelhouse. Your loved ones truly want to help, so think of folks who would be happy to help take on a bit of the load.
Plus, planning a wedding is more fun when you're tackling the projects you're actually excited about. And if a task is too overwhelming and just generally un-fun to think about, skip it! Remember, weddings can be whatever you want them to be.
5. Take breaks
Planning a wedding can often feel like another full-time job. Between the emotional and mental labor, it's easy to get burnt out. If you're feeling like you're making rush decisions out of frustration then it's probably a sign you need to step back for a little bit.
When wedding planning started feeling more stressful than fun, my partner and I decided to skip Wedding Planning Wednesdays for a few weeks. This gave us much needed time to relax and reset. When we felt ready to jump back into wedding planning we were able to do so with newfound energy and excitement.
- Choose a day of the week where you talk all things wedding.
- Spreadsheets are your friend. If you don't have the mental energy to create spreadsheets from scratch, the OBW Wedding Planning Spreadsheets are a quick and easy way to save time and energy.
- Create a wedding email to keep your inboxes separate and clean.
- Don't be afraid to ask your loved ones for help.
- Take time for yourself when you need it. Wedding planning will be there when you get back.
Those are just a few smart ways to stay organized while wedding planning! Ready to get started planning your nontraditional wedding? The Offbeat Wed Wedding Planning Spreadsheets help walk you through all the essential wedding related milestones, from creating a wedding timeline, setting a wedding budget, drafting a guest list, and more!
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